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History News - January 2019

‘Mary Queen of Scots’ was released in the cinema on 18th January.  The film has come under much criticism,  as it is flawed with historical inaccuracies.  A major flaw is that the new film shows Elizabeth meeting Mary of Scots, which actually did not happen!  Furthermore, the film portrays Mary Queen of Scots with a Scottish accent, however, due to the fact that Mary was raised in France, it is unlikely that she would have spoken with a Scottish Accent.

As part of our GCSE syllabus topic, The Early Elizabethans (1558-1588), Mary Queen is Scots is taught from the perspective of how much a threat she was to Elizabeth and what Elizabeth should have done with Mary when she arrived in England.  Earlier in the academic year, students in 10W1 and 10Y2 were given the opportunity to have a silent debate about the matter.

What is a Silent Debate?

Students work in groups of four and are given a piece of sugar paper with a statement written in the middle. Students then debate the statement on paper, in silence.  Each student is given a different coloured pen and everyone has to participate!  Below is a an excerpt from a wall display showing the outcome of 10W1’s silent debate, when they considered what Elizabeth should have done with Mary Queen of Scots.

Silent debate

“Elizabeth should have sent an army to Scotland to help Mary reclaim her throne as a fellow Queen and her cousin.”

“Elizabeth should have executed Mary when she arrived in England.  This would have eradicated any potential Catholic plot to replace Elizabeth.“


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